Friday 25 May 2012

International Wimbledon Music Festival

This year, the fourth International Wimbledon Music Festival will take place from 10 to 25 November in venues around Wimbledon. Last year's festival, with its performance of Britten's Noyes Fludde will be a hard act to beat but there are some strong contenders in this year's festival. 23 events around the theme of 'A Music World Fair'.

Both Christine Brewer and Mark Padmore are giving recitals, with Brewer performing Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder and Padmore giving us Schubert's Schwannengesang and Beethoven's An die ferne Geliebte.

Cristina Ortiz is giving a lunch-time piano recital, performing Debussy and Villa-Lobos.  Pianist Mikhail Rudy returns to the festival to play his own arrangement (for solo piano) of Stravinsky's four stave version of Petrushka. To accompany this there will be a production of the ballet by puppets from the Little Angel Theatre, accompanied by projections to make a fascinating total project.

Another theatrical experience is Jessica Duchen's play A Walk Through the End of Time, which explore the making of Messiaen's Quator pour la Fin du Temps. Then the next day, the Nash Ensemble will be performing Messiaen's quartet. And finally, the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, herself a survivor of Auschwitz, will tell the story of the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz.

And in another nice link, Anita Lasker-Wallfisch's grandson, the composer Benjamin Wallfisch has been commissioned by the festival to produce a work inspired by the French artist Arman. The commission is a joint one between Wimbledon and three other festivals which it has developed creative partnerships with, the Martinu Festival in Basel, the Pro Musica Festival in El Paso, Texas and the Sitka Summer Music Festival in Alaska.

The festival opens on Saturday 10th Novembers with a concert by the Academy Choir and Baroque Orchestra conducted by Andrew Edwards. The programme of Purcell includes Celebrate this Festival, O let me weep and Come ye sons of art plus Dido and Aeneas with Susan Bickley as Dido, Malin Christensson as Belinda and Njabolo Madlala as Aeneas, plus counter-tenor Robin Blaze.

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